By Tony Kowalczyk
October 14, 2002 (Boulder, CO) – Update on Kelly Rees after being hit and run over by a MAC dump truck last week Monday morning in downtown Boulder: After nearly a week in the hospital, she has been moved to Boulder Community Hospital Rehabilitation Unit for further care.
“I am doing better. I have been overwhelmed with love and support from the triathlon community,” said Rees. “It is amazing how all these people are just so giving… I had some guy from Boulder e-mail me and let me know he is available to walk our dogs if I need it. I have only met him once at the pool. And so many people that I do not even know have e-mailed…amazing!”
Rees will remain in the rehab hospital until she is released to go home. Currently Rees still has no feeling in the majority of her right leg and the left leg has minimal movement, as a torn meniscus and a torn and possibly broken ankle are the major worries of this leg. The right leg was the first leg to be run over and took the majority of the hit. It crushed the nerves, tissue and muscles. There is the possibility of many hairline fractures. The swelling is still severe and the fluid build-up is increasing and being watched closely.
A sharp pain the last two days in her pelvis is now a concern to the doctors. A CAT Scan and bone scan on her pelvis next week will help doctors locate any fractures or blood pools in her pelvis.
“I have no feeling in my butt, leg or hip,” Rees said of her right leg. “The MRI showed no severed nerves so it is now a waiting game to see if the leg returns and then we can address if the nerves are destroyed. Patience and hope is all I have. This weekend was hard; it is fall and beautiful here. Matt (Reed) has really helped me remain smiling and positive. I can somehow get through this. I will have to.”
As the bruising is increasing, Rees amazingly is still in good spirits and she still has a sense of humor. “I have BIG legs right now. It makes me laugh when I look down at them as it looks fake almost.”
It was a close scare Monday morning as kidney failure, an irregular heartbeat and internal bleeding were all concerns when she was rushed into the hospital. These have now stabilized and doctors can now focus on getting her legs and hips back.
Rees was hit and run over last week Monday morning while she headed out on a mountain bike ride with her brother Kurt. The driver was ticketed and Rees will be seeking legal action.
Rees recently raced the ITU long distance world championships in Nice, France and had planned to race Ironman Florida and the Tucson Marathon.
“I can not walk right now. I have to accept that. My goal is to be able to stand up on Jan 1.” Rees went on to say, “Matt (Reed), my boyfriend races ITU World Champs in Cancun next month, and I will definitely be there to support him. I will have to learn how to move fast in this wheelchair. I could be dangerous in a crowd in this chair thing,” Rees smiled.
Rees Struck Down on Her Bicycle
By Tony Kowalczyk
October 8, 2002 (Boulder, CO) – Professional Triathlete, Kelly Rees was hit and run over by a construction truck near her home in Boulder, Colorado just off Pearl Street.
Kelly Rees and her brother, Kurt, were heading out towards the trails on their mountain bikes around 9 AM through downtown Boulder and were only a few blocks from her home, when just passing legally through an intersection, a construction truck, the large heavy duty vehicle with double rear wheels, made a right turn into a parking lot without looking or signaling, struck Kelly, knocking her down and rolling over her legs with the huge front right wheel. With Kelly now under the vehicle, the truck kept rolling, and miraculously somehow missed the other wheels and ended up on the other side of the truck, lying in the street, where her brother found her lying, bleeding from the cut above her eye.
Paramedics and the Police were on the scene within three minutes. Kelly was examined, stabilized and sent via ambulance to the Boulder Community hospital. The driver, who never got out of the vehicle or apologized, was ticketed.
After a day of test, x-rays and MRIs, the current results show no broken bones and since there is some feeling in her legs and toes, nerve damage will hopefully repair fully. Her legs are still currently immobile, bruised and extremely swollen and are being iced several time a day. The prognosis is good, especially since the truck did not rollover and crush her torso or pelvis. Besides her treatment to her legs, Kelly received 13 stitches to the cut above the right eye.
Kelly is in good spirits 24 hours after the incident and has friends and family caring for her while she is in the hospital. “I am so glad I had my helmet on, I think the headache I have, would be a tad worse if I wasn’t wearing it” Kelly went on to say, “I just want everyone out here to be careful; you wake up in the morning and, well, you just don’t plan to get hit by a truck. You never know what is going to happen, please be careful”.
Kelly’s family is seeking legal assistance for hospital services and damages from the at-fault driver and his company.
Kelly Rees is a professional triathlete and co-owner of the Mozaik Group, a Sports Marketing, Design and Public Relations company, where she specialized in creative design and marketing. As a professional triathlete, Kelly represented the U.S. in this year’s Long Course World Championships in Nice. Kelly had plans to qualify for the Olympic Marathon Trials in Tucson later in the year; and while it is to early to tell, Kelly has already planned her 2003 season with Ironman New Zealand and Switzerland plus a series of other events in New Zealand and ITUs in Brazil.